This is helpful, not because I have any hope of learning how to judge percebes priior to my next visit, but it explains why I didn't see the fuss over Carabineros when I had them and percebes at La Trainera (the percebes knocked my socks off). I wasn't going to order them again, but maybe I'll give them try again.
Based on this recommendation, I had a fabulous meal there 10 years ago - loved the percebes!! In your recent post, I noticed it was missing from your list. Should I go to O'Pazo for percebes or La Trainera again? Will be at the Westin (near the Thyssen musuem).
You can NOT go to O Pazo or La Trainera or any restaurant in the world (including in Galicia) and simply assume that you are going to order percebes that night and get excellent product.
They may not have them of course, but worse yet, they have them and the quality is mediocre ... even at the top places in the world for them.
Ignore Chambo at your peril !
But then again if you don t know much about percebes, you may not know the difference anyway and you may be tickled pink with whatever the hell they serve you because you are just chewing away like a crazed mad man, happy as a giant clam, thinking to yourself : My God, I am eating Percebes ! Percebes Percebes Percebes !!! How lucky am I ? Tonight I consider myself to be the luckiest man on the face of the Earth !
Ignorance truly is bliss in such cases.
So if you really want percebes, call the resto and ask them if they have them that night (and don t forget to ask about those carabineros too) ... and even if you do this, do not be shocked when they are gone (or the goods ones are gone) by the time you are ready to order.
Moving along, for carabineros, I would go to O Pazo as their pricing is better than La Trainera and their quality should surely be as good and is probably better. Early this summer, O Pazo carabs were 110 euros per kg (their price has not changed in many years !). Trainera was 155. This has been the case for the last few years.
Prices for percebes at both places were pretty similar BUT THAT IS MEANINGLESS* !
If you understand percebes, you know that based upon their size and their place of origin and based upon how they were cut off the rock etc that the price varies by a factor of at least 2x or 3x or 4x. And then there is the freshness factor which requires seeing them (yes, seeing them, even at the BEST percebes places in the world ! The many, many tales that I could tell ...) The menus list the prices but you have no idea what the actual product on offer that night is unless you LOOK AT it. Chambo NEVER orders percebes prior to peeking at the product ... and further we select the actual percebes that will be cooked right then and there. Then again, you must know how to distinguish what you are looking at ...
Am I complicating things ? Yes, I am !
All that said, you may find La T to be more geographically desirable ... and the ambience at these two restos are very different so that is a factor too
* And yes, even with carabs, price is FAR** from the whole story, but with these two restos the quality should be pretty good. Once again, you want to LOOK AT the product and verify that they are looking good / fresh, and the more salient factor, at least for me, would be their individual size / weight. For the most part, bigger is better than smaller with these scarlet red critters IMHO
** Like whether they were frozen or not ... and what size they are ... and where they are coming from ... and did they come from a frozen, pre-packaged box ! (whenever carabs are priced really great, I will bet you they came from a pre-packaged frozen box ... which are a very sad imitation of the real McCoy)